Bladder biopsy

  • Definition

    Bladder biopsy is a procedure that involves removing a small piece of tissue from the bladder for examination.

    Alternative Names

    Biopsy - bladder

    How the test is performed

    A bladder biopsy is usually performed as a part of a cystoscopy. A small portion of tissue or the entire area of concern is removed and sent to the laboratory for analysis if:

    • Abnormalities of the bladder are found during this examination
    • A tumor is visible

    How to prepare for the test

    You must sign an informed consent form before you have a bladder biopsy. Usually you are asked to urinate just before the procedure. You may also be asked to take an antibiotic before the procedure.

    For infants and children, the preparation you can provide for this test depends on your child's age, previous experiences, and level of trust. For general information regarding how you can prepare your child, see the following topics:

    • Infant test or procedure preparation (birth to 1 year)
    • Toddler test or procedure preparation (1 to 3 years)
    • Preschooler test or procedure preparation (3 to 6 years)
    • School age test or procedure preparation (6 to 12 years)
    • Adolescent test or procedure preparation (12 to 18 years)

    How the test will feel

    There may be slight discomfort as the cystoscope (a lighted instrument used to look at the bladder) is passed through your urethra into your bladder. You will feel an uncomfortable sensation -- similar to a strong urge to urinate -- when the fluid has filled your bladder.

    You may feel a pinch during the biopsy. There may be a burning sensation when the blood vessels are sealed to stop bleeding (cauterized).

    After the cystoscope is removed, your urethra may be sore. You may experience a burning sensation during urination for a day or two.

    Sometimes when the suspicious area is larger, you will need general or spinal anesthesia to remove the area in question.

    Why the test is performed

    This test is most often performed to check for cancer of the bladder or urethra.